Class of 2015 Interns Gained “Life Changing” Experiences at CDR Mediation

This summer CDR Mediation helped teach four local high school Mock Trial participants how to resolve cases using alternative dispute resolution techniques such as mediation. DK Law Group (which shares offices with CDR Mediation) offered part-time paid internships to four local high school Mock Trail finalists from this year’s competition at the Ventura County Superior Court in February. The interns impressed all the attorneys and staff of CDR Mediation and DK Law Group with their impressive work ethic and delightful personalities.

Over the summer, our impressive interns showed a tremendous amount of innate skill and were able to witness a mediation with the Honorable David W. Long, retired Judge of the Ventura County Superior Court and co-founder of CDR Mediation.

The interns appreciated the opportunity to learn the practice of law and mediation “in the field” in their supporting roles this summer at CDR Mediation and DK Law Group. Here’s a summary their experiences in their own words below.  Due to its remarkable success, DK Law Group has decided to continue the Summer Intern Program in 2016.

Alexandria Suebert

Alexandria SuebertSparking my passion for law, Mock Trial opened the door for my summer internship at DK Law Group. After completing this two-month program, I feel that it acted as a catalyst for my long awaited journey into a career in law. After observing the atmosphere of this law firm poses, I have drawn many conclusions such as how I wish to approach my law career: in a calm yet collective manner just as DK. Also, I do see a future for myself in civil litigation.

As a three year Mock Trial veteran, I have played may roles such as a character witness, a prosecuting attorney, and a defense attorney, but I found my primary role as a defense attorney my junior year. And, I won third place for best defense attorney my senior year. As a recently graduated student from Grace Brethren High School, I will be continuing my education at the University of California, Santa Barbara studying political science, with hopes of going to law school and becoming an attorney.


Madison Shepard

Madison ShepardThe time I spent participating in Mock Trial definitely peaked my interest in a career in law, and in the two months I interned at DK Law Group, I got to see what it was like to work in a real law firm, with real clients, and real consequences. One of my favorite experiences, shadowing Judge Long during a mediation, gave me a unique opportunity to see the different parties in a legal dispute at play. The DK Law Group internship solidified the writing and organizational skills I had already learned through Mock Trial, but it also challenged me to rise above expectations and work in a way that would display my work ethic and diligence.

I just graduated from Trinity Pacific Christian School. My plan is to attend Moorpark College in the fall, and after completing my general education, I hope to transfer to a four year university. From my freshman year of high school to my senior year, I was a part of my school’s Mock Trial program.
This internship was truly life changing, and I am now more confident that working as a lawyer is something I definitely would be interested in pursuing. Thank you DK Law Group for the incredible experience!


Rita Abed Elahad

Rita Abed ElahadI was a part of Mock Trial my junior and senior years of high school and was given the opportunity to be a summer intern at DK Law Group. Throughout my experience during the internship, I read depositions, wrote arguments, and attended mediations… Throughout my time here at the office I was taught how to craft arguments and that the simplest of questions can end up getting the most information. I was able to observe how a law office functions and understand the true responsibilities that come along with being an attorney. This internship gave me the wonderful opportunity to work in a law office along with affirming my decision to go into law.

I graduated from Westlake High School with the class of 2015 and will be attending the University of California, Santa Barbara beginning Fall of 2015 as a political science major.  I am very appreciative for the time I was able to spend at DK Law Group and for all the opportunities I was given.


Shreya Chattopadhyay

Shreya ChattopadhyayAs an incoming Newbury Park High School senior and mock trial defense attorney, I had almost no experience with civil litigation or the professional world in general prior to interning at DK Law Group. My familiarity with the legal system was limited to three page long witness statements, four minute direct examinations, and the 16 objections given in the mock trial handbook. And, while I have learned (and am still learning) a great deal from high school mock trial, my time here at DK Law Group has increased my knowledge exponentially in a short amount of time.

I’ve learned that day-to-day life in a law firm is very different from the drama and excitement of a courtroom, and that sometimes it takes careful sifting  through an 80-page deposition to find a gem that can be used in an argument. I’ve learned that presenting a carefully prepared statement and presenting one you wrote just minutes before are two completely different beasts. I’ve been exposed to different types of questioning, and I have marveled both at the subtlety and the blatancy of questions attorneys ask. I’ve also become more comfortable with the fact that sometimes, you mess up. Hugely. And usually, people are there to see it.

The two months I spent here at DK Law Group have taught me about law, about professionalism, and about myself, and I am incredible grateful to have had this opportunity.

Founding Senior Managing Partner, David M. Karen believes Mock Trial experience in high school for future lawyers can be the hallmark for litigation training. What he didn’t realize before hiring this talented bunch was their helpful and positive impact on the firm. We were all sorry to see them leave at the end of the summer!

Hon. David W. Long (Ret.) and David M. Karen, Esq. of CDR mediation have experience with virtually all civil matters. Judge David W. Long, now retired from the Ventura County Superior Court, is dedicated to providing the same excellence in neutral Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services for which has been recognized since its founding in 1986. David M. Karen has mediated over 500 cases during his career.